The Montreal Alouettes got a huge win on Friday night, dominating the Toronto Argonauts by a score of 37-16 at Percival Molson Stadium. It was an extremely impressive performance for a team that entered the game as one-point home underdogs, proving they are to be taken seriously in the race to the postseason.
Here are four reasons why the Als were able to secure the win and pull themselves even with Toronto atop the East Division standings at 6-4.
We stan Stanback
William Stanback had a remarkable performance, recording 24 carries for 203 yards and a touchdown. His best run of the night went for 65 yards, which displayed impressive speed from a ball carrier who is often considered a power runner.
The yardage total tied Stanback’s career-high and should place him firmly in the conversation for Most Outstanding Player in the East Division. He now holds a 205-yard lead on Edmonton’s James Wilder Jr. for the CFL’s rushing title despite dressing for one fewer game.
The Als’ offensive line did a great job opening holes for the all-star running back even after centre David Brown left the game with a possible concussion. Kristian Matte took over for Brown at centre while Landon Rice shifted to guard and Nick Callender came in at tackle. We don’t talk about offensive linemen enough and Montreal’s played very well on Friday.
Dial up the heat
Montreal’s front-seven made life miserable for McLeod Bethel-Thompson on Friday night, getting home for three sacks and forcing him to make a number of errant throws. He finished the game with four interceptions, including a pick-six to Najee Murray in the final minute of the contest.
The Argos were without stalwart right tackle Jamal Campbell and Montreal took full advantage with Jamal Davis, David Menard, and Nick Usher generating pressure off the edge. Toronto didn’t do themselves any favours with play-calling, providing running backs John White IV and D.J. Foster with just seven combined carries.
Menard has slid under the radar for far too long this season and is now tied for the league lead with seven sacks. The veteran Canadian also forced Bethel-Thompson to fumble in the second quarter, which was recovered by Usher for a turnover.
Taking the pressure off
Montreal’s offensive game-plan played perfectly to the strengths of Matthew Shiltz, who was making just his second start of the season in place of an injured Vernon Adams Jr. He attempted just 18 passes, completing 12 of them for 212 yards and two touchdowns. The club also used play-action effectively, providing Shiltz with extra time to read the defence.
M.O.P. candidate Jake Wieneke had an off-night, finishing the game with zero receptions on three targets with a couple of drops. Eugene Lewis picked up the slack, making seven grabs for 156 yards and two touchdowns. His biggest catch of the night came on this busted cover
Shiltz’s first touchdown pass to Lewis was sweet, but it also shouldn’t have counted. The veteran wide receiver clearly pulled defensive back Treston Decoud to the ground by his hair, which should have resulted in an offensive pass interference penalty.
Genius Lewis @GENOALLDAY7 raising the roof 🙌
— 3DownNation (@3DownNation) October 23, 2021
Fortunately for the Als, Toronto elected not to challenge the non-call despite wasting it later in the game on an obvious interception. Scoring plays are automatically reviewed by the command centre in the CFL but only the score (ie. the catch) is subjected to review. If the Argos wanted a call for offensive pass interference, they needed to challenge for it.
Get well soon, Colquhoun
This item has nothing to with the rest of the list, but on behalf of everyone at 3DownNation I’d like to wish a speedy recovery to Toronto defensive back Arjen Colquhoun.
The native of Windsor, Ont. was carted off in the first half after suffering what appeared to be a gruesome ankle injury. Get well soon, Arjen. We know you’ll come back better than ever.